Final moments: Ng sharing quality time with her son.
KOTA KINABALU: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) lecturer Ng Shi Ing had been looking forward to a trip to Belgium for nearly a year.
Apart from attending a conference on language learning, the academic specialising in the teaching of English as a second language was also looking at the possibility of pursuing a doctorate at the University of Antwerp.
On July 5, Ng, 32, headed for Europe with her year-old son and her 33-year-old sister to attend the Computer-Assisted Language Learning Research conference at the university.
Her husband Lt-Cmdr Lee Vee Weng, 35, a submariner with the Royal Malaysian Navy, could not go with them due to his work.
Ng uploaded photographs of the two-week stay in Belgium on her Facebook page, including one of her and her son on a boat at an Antwerp park.
On Thursday, they boarded Flight MH17 in Amsterdam bound for Kuala Lumpur. But they never made it home.
Her UMS colleague Dr Lee Kean Wah, of the Faculty of Education and Social Development, said Ng’s husband called him early yesterday after being notified by Malaysia Airlines about the tragedy.
“Our families were very close to one another,” said Lee. “Ng was to resume work on Monday.”
Ng, who was from Muar, Johor, and the second of six siblings, had been with UMS since 2011 when her husband was transferred to Sabah.
UMS vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Harun Abdullah, described Ng as friendly, dedicated and hardworking.
Fellow lecturer Dr Tan Choon Keong, 51, was stunned by the news.
“I was supposed to accompany her on the trip but I had to cancel it due to other commitments,” he said.
Cmdr Lee, who is based at the Sepanggar naval base near here, is in Kuala Lumpur to get updates on the situation.